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The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

The Princess Diarist

by Carrie Fisher

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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This book was an awesome insight into what Carrie's life must've been like when she first got involved in the franchise that would change, and I suppose in some ways enrich and destroy her life all at once. It's an amazing, laugh out loud, frown in sadness, open wound of a book.

I don't know about you, but my diaries at eighteen certainly didn't possess the eloquence or poetry that the excerpts Carrie shared within this book did.

The confusion and vulnerability expressed in this only served to make this otherworldly woman seem more human, and more like every one of us who have ever felt insecure about any part of ourselves.

The humour, and frank manner in which she talks about her younger self is both enlightening, as well as refreshing. She doesn't mince words, or try to make herself look better which is awesome. ( )
1 vote acanuckreader | Oct 3, 2017 |
Nearly everyone knows Carrie Fisher for her portrayal of Princess Leia Organa in the "Star Wars" film series. Being so strongly associated with this iconic character is something Fisher has struggled with virtually from the beginning of her career until she learned to embrace her alter ego later in life. The double-edged sword of a dilemma is the basis for "The Princess Diarist," Fisher's latest memoir in which she laments upon the filming of the original "Star Wars" film in 1976 and how it feels to revive Leia for the saga's current sequel trilogy.

In the book, Fisher devotes numerous chapters to the three month affair she had with co-star Harrison Ford during the filming of the movie, when she was just 19 years old and Ford was a married father in his mid-30s. Through a series of diaries she kept during the film shoot, Fisher works through her emotions as she falls in love with Ford, only to realize he will never love her back.

One of the most fascinating parts of the book is when Fisher recounts what it’s like to interact with “Star Wars” fans at conventions and autograph signings, many of whom view her as Princess Leia instead of who she is in real life. In the end, “The Princess Diarist” is about Fisher coming to terms with a lifetime of being viewed as someone else, which has proven to be both a blessing and a curse.

Dan R. / Marathon County Public Library
Find this book in our library catalog.

( )
  mcpl.wausau | Sep 25, 2017 |
In 1977 when Star Wars IV: A New Hope came out my husband and I were in our mid-twenties. We loved the movie but not as much as the youth we were working with. The teens bragged about how many times they had seen the movie. The movie was more than a hit, it transformed culture.

Fast forward ten or more years, and our son was sick and restless. I brought out the Star Wars trilogy VCR tapes to entertain him. After viewing the first movie, he told me, "Thank you."

The movie is a touchstone for so many who remember when they first saw it as vividly as recalling where we were on 9-11 or the day President Kennedy was shot.

Princess Leia was a different kind of heroine, the kind I had found lacking when I was growing up in the 1950s. In my make-believe play I was always a cowboy because the cowgirls were weak and needed to be rescued. I resented it when Leia was turned into a sex object, barely dressed in that uncomfortable metal bikini.

Later, we were into Joseph Campbell and loved how the story of Luke Skywalker was a secular manifestation of the eternal hero myth.

We were fans of all the Harrison Ford movies-- from Indiana Jones to Witness. But I never idolized Mark Harmon or Harrison Ford or Carrie Fisher like many did, or do. Over the years I read about Carrie's books and saw her in a few movies and heard about her personal battles. I'm not really a Hollywood bio book fan, so I did not pay much attention to The Princess Diarist until I read such glowing reviews.

I had requested The Princess Diarist through NetGalley before Carrie's death, based on the reviews I had read. Just last week I was notified that I was granted access to the book.

I always give a new book a glance. Sometimes, I keep reading, hooked. This was one of those times. I read the book in a few sittings.

"...if I didn't write about it someone else would." from The Princess Diarist

Earlier this year on my blog I shared memories of my teen years, drawing from the diaries I kept beginning at age 13. Carrie started writing at age 12, about the time I did. I found myself relating to the Carrie. At age nineteen, she was self-deprecating, uncertain, wanting to appear wordily yet wanting to be loved. How secure could a teenager be when the first thing she is told is to lose ten pounds before filming!

The memoir begins with Carrie retelling her back story, getting the role, and how her affair with Harrison Ford began. Her writing is direct with a touch of humor, and an objectivity made possible by the passing of time. Carrie admits she went into filming hoping to have an affair; there was one boyfriend in her past. Harrison was fifteen years older, and married, and not on her radar although he struck her as the iconic Hollywood star. He made her nervous and left her feeling awkward.

The next section is from the diary she kept during the filming of Star Wars: IV. The diary excerpts offer insight into her nineteen-year-old mind. It is quite heartbreaking and poignant, consisting of poems and thoughts reflecting hard lessons about love. She chose to be with Harrison, but chastised herself for choosing obsession and over emotional investment. There was no future with Harrison, their relationship without real meaning.

Teenage Carrie had great self-awareness about her choices but lacked an ability for self-determination. She has little confidence and feels worthless. She is playing at being someone she is not, and is unable to demand what she needs from the relationship. Harrison has strong boundaries, revealing little; the strong, silent type. Writing keeps Carrie together. When filming on location came to an end, Harrison returned to his family.

Forty years on, Carrie can reflect on her "very long one-night stand" and their one-sided love affair objectively. It's all in the past, she remarks, "and who gives a shit?"

The memoir next shifts to how the Princess Leia role took over Carrie's life and how she coped with the fame and demands it brought: being accessible to fans and signing autographs, listening to the stories of worship, making money off the fans, the endless Comic-Con conventions. Carrie grows old, but Princess Leia does not, and a young fan complained, "I want the other Leia, not the old one." But fans also shared stories that warmed her heart and made her feel good.

I loved the story of people asking her, "Well, you wanted to be in show business," so accept the negative side of fame. That lack of empathy riled me. I was asked a similar question once. I complained about the frequent moves and lack of self-determination that came with my husband being in the pastoral ministry. "You married a minister. You knew what you were getting into," the lady told me. "I was nineteen and had no idea about itineracy," I retorted.

We make decisions at age nineteen feeling very grown up and worldly, and then realize how little we understand about the world, or about ourselves. Carrie didn't set out to become a famous Hollywood actress. And she was not prepared.

Last of all, Carrie ruminates, sobbing, on her iconic role. What would she be if not Princess Leia? "Just me."

Find Carrie Fisher's website here.

I received a free ebook from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review. ( )
1 vote nancyadair | Sep 20, 2017 |
Ok probably not truly a 5 star but a 5 star for me. I'm glad she wrote this. I'm glad I read it. I really didn't know it would get so deep about her Harrison affair, from her young heart diary POV it would get. It's really very interesting. ( )
  sydsavvy | Sep 5, 2017 |
34. The Princess Diarist (audio) by Carrie Fisher, read by the author and Billie Lourd
published: 2016
format: Overdrive digital audio, 5:13 (normally ~144 pages, but copies are ~270 pages)
acquired: Library
listened: Aug 10-17
rating: 3

Audio can make strange bedfellows with my other reading. This was a time-filler, an entertaining one, and, well... What's nice about this is Carrie reads it herself and you get sense of her personality both recently and then - when she was 19 and acting in some low budget space movie. What's interesting about it is that she talks about her odd affair with then-married Harrison Ford. And what's sad about it is that it was published in October 2016, in her voice, and she past away in December. Maybe there are other things sad about it too. ( )
  dchaikin | Aug 22, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Carrie Fisherprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lourd, BillieNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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George Lucas
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Mark Hamill
Irvin Kershner
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It was 1976...

Charlie’s Angels, Laverne & Shirley, and Family Feud premiered on TV.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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